This book is both the story of how historians have struggled to uncover the true casualties for the Soviet forces, and of the casualties themselves, using declassified documents from Russian archives not previously available in the West. The authors have provided a stark picture of war between the Germans and the Soviets, including some very interesting illustration – Much Recommended.
NAME: The Price of Victory, The Red Army's Casualties in the Great Patriotic War FILE: R2579 AUTHOR: Lev Lopukhovsky, Boris Kavalerchik PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 193 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, World War 2, Second World War, The Great Patriotic War, East Front, Eastern Front, casualties, Germany, Nazi ISBN: 1-47389-984-8 IMAGE: B2579.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ycvkuk2r LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This book is both the story of how historians have struggled to uncover the true casualties for the Soviet forces, and of the casualties themselves, using declassified documents from Russian archives not previously available in the West. The authors have provided a stark picture of war between the Germans and the Soviets, including some very interesting illustration – Much Recommended. The true cost of Communism to the peoples of Russia has never been fully exposed. From the Revolution to the outbreak of WWII, the Soviets butchered huge numbers of their own people. Current estimates for the period under Stalin suggest more than twenty million were killed by execution and by brutal incarceration in the gulags. As more archive material becomes available it is increasingly looking as though there figures are a significant under estimate. One of the consequences of this industrial scale killing was that the Soviet army, air force and navy were purged of most of their capable commanders in what can only be described as a reign of terror. All of this was concealed and the concealment continued on through the Great Patriotic War and the decades that followed. Russians are only now coming to understand the scale of the evil. When the Germans rolled into the Soviet Union they made amazing progress with epic advances at a speed that even outshone the blitz kreig in Western Europe during 1940. Within the first few months, they had captured or killed more than a third of the total number of Soviet troops. As the threat from Japan kept Soviet troops on the Chinese border, the Germans had accounted for more than half of the Soviet forces available against them. Equipment losses were even higher and the Soviet air force virtually ceased to exist. These unbelievable losses were not just due to German military skills. The lack of effective officers meant that troops were poorly deployed and led. Many were also only too keen to surrender to the Germans where they were given the chance. In the Ukraine a large part of the population, civilian and uniformed, saw the Germans as liberators. Then there was the lack of effective weapons and equipment. Only the vastness of the Russian territories sapped the German energy, giving the Soviets the opportunity to salvage some of the troops and to start a re-equipment program. To that was added the enormous volume of war supplies and food that was shipped by the British at great cost on the Russian Arctic convoys, and more comfortably by the British and Americans across the Persian border. The Soviets were keen to hide this part of the story from the people, even to the point of welding Russian construction plates over the British and American plates on vehicles and aircraft supplied by the Allies to the Soviets. Stalin and Hitler were sides of the same coin. They led very similar political groups but hated each other. Fighting was ferocious and genocide widespread. Battle losses were heavy, but few of those taken prisoner were to survive the war. Surviving German prisoners were only reluctantly sent home in the early 1950s after the death of Stalin and only as a result of continuing pressure from the US and Great Britain. Estimates vary but the consensus is that only some 10% of German POWs survived Russian captivity and eventually arrived home. Similarly, less than 10% of Soviet prisoners survived German captivity. We may never know the true cost in Soviet POWs because the Germans treated them as cattle and many who surrendered on the battlefield never made it as far as a PoW camp. To those horrendus casualty figures were added many of the Soviet prisoners sent home to Russia only to be executed or sent to the gulags by Stalin. The heavy costs continued after the Soviets moved to the offensive, right through to the surrender of Germany. Stalin and his generals had little regard for life, even the lives of their own soldiers. Troops continued to be treated as canon fodder and the Germans fought on to the end, frequently being ordered to hold a position when they should have fallen back, regrouped and counter attacked. In the process, many Soviet troops were lost making frontal assaults on these German positions. No quarter was given by either side and this extended to their own troops. This is fascinating, if chilling, reading. The authors have clearly researched with great care and determination and the translation has produced a very readable English language edition of their work.